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General Conference 2004: News Archives

General Conference 2004 United Methodist News Service stories Read More

General Conference 2004: News

General Conference 2004 United Methodist News Service stories Read More

General Conference 2008: About the Newsroom

Find general information about newsroom hours, credentialing and available resources. Read More

GC2008: Resources for Journalists and Communicators

Find resources specifically for journalists and communicators covering General Conference. Read More

Bishop Gregory Palmer delivers the parting message to General Conference delegates during closing worship.

Wrap-up: General Conference closes with message of hope after addressing budget, social issues

Delegates end meeting with action on diverse issues and parting words of hope. Read More

Advocates for pregnant immigrants speak out

Authorities' treatment of Juana Villegas, her newborn and her family was unnecessary and cruel, say her supporters in Nashville, Tenn. Read More

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, president of Liberia, addresses the 2008 United Methodist General Conference. Sirleaf is a United Methodist and the first female head of state in Africa.

Liberia President Sirleaf addresses United Methodists

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf says her country and her church share a common commitment to end poverty. Read More

Agency focuses on centennial, health initiatives

Health, wellness and central conference pensions will be among board's future emphases. Read More

Bishops Mary Ann Swenson and John Hopkins introduce the presentation on the church's proposed four-year budget of $642 million. The spending plan later was approved by the 2008 United Methodist General Conference.

Assembly approves $642 million churchwide budget

General Conference approves a denominational spending plan built around four areas of mission and ministry. Read More

Bishop Eben K. Nhiwatiwa of the church's Zimbabwe Area signs a covenant to extend through 2012 the partnership between the Zimbabwe and Baltimore-Washington conferences. The signing ceremony occurred April 30 during the 2008 United Methodist General Conference.

Conferences extend covenant agreement

Relationship-building and work together benefits both Zimbabwe and Baltimore-Washington annual conferences. Read More

Anna Blaedel addresses members of the Board of Church and Society during a meeting in which they considered divestment in preparation for sending petitions to General Conference 2008.

Church rejects divestment from companies working with Israel

While rejecting divestment, General Confrence delegates urge advocating for peace in the Middle East. Read More

Tara Thronson of the Southwest Texas Annual (regional) Conference speaks on a petition from the Church and Society legislative committee during the 2008 United Methodist General Conference.

Church tackles difficult subject of abortion

General Conference votes to continue membership with the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. Read More

Elvira Arellano took sanctuary in Adalberto United Methodist Church in Chicago for one year ending in August of 2007 before her arrest in Los Angeles.

Church supports justice for migrants

United Methodists have adopted resolutions supporting justice for migrants worldwide and reform of U.S. immigration laws. Read More

Bishop Hope Morgan Ward preaches during the morning worship service on May 2, the final day of the 10-day United Methodist General Conference.

Bishop Ward: Wait, watch, receive God’s spirit

Delegates urged to be witnesses to God's work in the world. Read More

Susan Laurie (left) and Julie Bruno lead a procession through the Fort Worth Convention Center, site of the 2008 United Methodist General Conference, on the way to their marriage ceremony across the street in General Worth Square.

Same-sex couple says ‘I do’ outside church assembly

Days after their church upheld its position against same-sex unions, two women join in a marriage ceremony. Read More

The

Justice petitions address welfare, hate, torture

Resolutions call for work toward a living wage to be a worldwide effort. Read More

Judicial Council defers two ruling requests from General Conference

The court said both issues need study and would become docket items for its October session. Read More

The Rev. Grace Cajiuat leads a liturgical version of the United Methodist Social Creed during a celebration of the creed's 100th anniversary at the 2008 General Conference. In the background are Bishop Beverly Shamana and Jim Winkler.

United Methodist Social Creed celebrated

The church's Social Creed continues to express the scriptural mandate to care for the sojourner, the weak and the orphaned. Read More

Supporters of full inclusion for gays and lesbians in The United Methodist Church drape the central table in black cloth during a demonstration on the floor of the 2008 United Methodist General Conference in Fort Worth, Texas.

Demonstrators call church’s ‘anti-gay’ policies sinful

Witness asks General Conference to recognize and acknowledge that Read More

Church supports people of Tibet, Sudan, Taiwan

Petitions express caring, compassion and support for human rights. Read More

Bishop Hee-Soo Jung delivers the sermon during morning worship at the 2008 United Methodist General Conference in Fort Worth, Texas.

Bishop Jung leads service of remembrance

Painful and wonderful remembering can bring Body of Christ back together. Read More

The Christ United Methodist Church of the Deaf Choir from Baltimore circles the altar table in the middle of the 2008 General Conference during worship on May 1.

Wrap-up: Constitutional amendments, Gates speech and resolutions on variety of issues top agenda

Chicago Bishop Hee-Soo Jung encourages church to value both holiness and hospitality. Read More

Members of the 2008-2012 Judicial Council of The United Methodist Church pose for a photo following their presentation to the denomination's 2008 General Conference. From left are: Ruben Reyes, the Rev. Dennis Blackwell, the Rev. Kathi Austin-Mahle, the Rev. Belton Joyner, the Rev. Susan Henry-Crowe, Jon Gray, Angela Brown, Beth Capen and the Rev. William Lawrence.

Judicial Council elects first woman president

The Rev. Susan Henry-Crowe of South Carolina will lead the supreme court of The United Methodist Church. Read More

Donald Reasoner (right) translates into English the sermon of Bishop João Somane Machado of Mozambique at an April 25 worship service during the 2008 United Methodist General Conference. Reasoner works for the church's Board of Global Ministries.

Interpreters assist General Conference delegates

Some 140 interpreters and technicians are helping nearly 300 delegates participate in General Conference. Read More

John Coleman of the United Methodist Commission of Religion and Race makes last- minute adjustments to the agency's Journey to Inclusiveness exhibit at the 2008 General Conference in Fort Worth, Texas.

Exhibit narrates the journey toward inclusiveness

The exhibit tells the story of racial and gender exclusion and inclusion in The United Methodist Church. Read More

The Rev. Bo Joong Kim finds a quiet space to write in the Prayer Room at the 2008 United Methodist General Conference in Fort Worth, Texas.

Prayer room serves as ‘space of quieting and slowing’

Open gates draw visitors into heart of A Space for Prayer. Read More

The Rev. Troy Plummer of the Reconciling Ministries Network speaks at a press conference after a time of witness on the floor of the 2008 United Methodist General Conference. Bishops Sally Dyck and Scott Jones also participate

‘Christian conferencing’ follows demonstration

Bridge building before General Conference facilitates conversation in the midst of pain. Read More

United Methodist mission statement revised

Additional wording tells why church seeks to make disciples of Jesus Christ. Read More

Bishop Thomas Bickerton answers questions at a press conference about the church's global health plan adopted by the 2008 United Methodist General Conference during its legislative meeting in Fort Worth, Texas.

United Methodists expand global health campaign

Capital campaign will raise $75 to $100 million to combat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Read More

Delegates consider legislation at the 2008 United Methodist General Conference, where the assembly voted to add wording to the liturgy for profession of membership. Henceforth, people joining United Methodist churches will promise to be faithful in

United Methodists will pledge to ‘witness’

New members will promise to be faithful in Read More

William H. Gates Sr. addresses delegates and visitors to the 2008 United Methodist General Conference. Gates, the father of Microsoft founder Bill Gates and a co-chairman of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, spoke on the need to eradicate malaria worldwide.

Gates thanks United Methodists for partnership

Gates Foundation chairman says The United Methodist Church is the strongest force against malaria. Read More

Darlene Marquez-Caramanzana and Norma P. Dollaga participate in an August 2007 workshop in Manila, Philippines, on the Social Creed.

Church adopts proposed creed as litany

While the Social Creed will continue in its 1972 language, the new litany will provide an accompanying Read More

Bishop Violet L. Fisher preaches to the 2008 United Methodist General Conference in Fort Worth, Texas

Bishop Fisher preaches against ‘sin of racism’

Preacher urges delegates to take the most difficult route necessary to eliminate racism. Read More

Descendants of survivors of the 1864 Sand Creek massacre attend the April 2007 dedication of the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site near Chivington, Colo. A UMNS file photo by the Rev. Carol Lakota Eastin.

Sand Creek Massacre research center supported

Delegates want to provide financial support for a memorial to victims of a Methodist-led massacre. Read More

The Rev. Fitzgerald Reist reads a ruling from the United Methodist Judicial Council to the plenary of the denomination's 2008 General Conference. Reist is secretary of the General Conference.

Petitions seeking to control Judicial Council ruled unconstitutional

General Conference can set the council's quorum, but organization and operation are the court's prerogatives. Read More

Bishop Linda Lee (left) and Erin Hawkins lead the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the United Methodist Commission on Religion and Race at 2008 General Conference.

Church celebrates 40-year journey toward inclusivity

While journey is not complete and struggles remain, some wrongs have been righted in commission's first 40 years. Read More

Judicial Council releases rulings on docket items

The United Methodist Church's supreme court hands down rulings on four cases. Read More

Delegates consider legislation during the 2008 United Methodist General Conference in Fort Worth, Texas.

Assembly creates new study group on church structure

Delegates take a hesitant step toward reorganizing the 11.5 million-member United Methodist Church. Read More

Elizabeth Cumbest sings a song she wrote to help raise money for the reconstruction of Seashore United Methodist Assembly, which was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in Mississippi. With Bishop Hope Morgan Ward in the background, Cumbest sang during the 2008 United Methodist General Conference.

More support for Katrina relief needed, bishops say

Noting that much work remains, several bishops call for a recommitment to rebuilding the U.S. Gulf Coast. Read More

U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver addresses delegates and guests at the Board of Church and Society luncheon held in conjunction with the 2008 United Methodist General Conference. Cleaver is also a United Methodist minister.

Cleaver: Social, economic problems hurt poor most

"Poor people are being blamed for being poor people," says U.S. Rep. Emanuel Clever II to a United Methodist gathering. Read More

A groundbreaking is celebrated for a new ministry center at Cookson Hills Center in Cookson, Okla. The center, a project funded by The Advance for Christ and His Church, serves Native Americans in the area.

Cookson Hills center and The Advance turn 60

Center offers diverse ministries with Native Americans and shares an intertwined history with The Advance. Read More

United Methodist Bishop Ernest S. Lyght gives the sermon during morning worship on April 28 at the 2008 United Methodist General Conference in Fort Worth, Texas.

Bishop Lyght: Church offers ‘fresh bread’

Offer bread of faith, hope and love, bishop urges, to those facing a Read More

Bishop Michael Coyner presides as the 2008 United Methodist General Conference elects members of the denomination's Judicial Council during the assembly's legislative meeting in Fort Worth, Texas.

Five new members are elected to Judicial Council

The 2008 General Conference elects two clergy and three lay members to serve on the top court of The United Methodist Church. Read More

Carol Everett speaks at a luncheon sponsored by Lifewatch during the 2008 United Methodist General Conference.

Former abortion clinic owner shares her story with delegates

Abortion discussion is more complex than words on a bumper sticker. Read More

The Hope for Africa Children's Choir from Uganda performs an energetic encore at the 2008 United Methodist General Conference. Many of its members are orphans who have lost their families to civil war violence or AIDS.

Wrap up: Assembly tackles items with price tags

Faith and order, theological education and finances fill delegates first full day of decision-making. Read More

Marilyn Griffith of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Indianapolis dances with Janet Yema Bio, a midwife at the United Methodist-related Kissy Hospital in Sierra Leone, during a presentation on The Advance, a program of designated giving through The United Methodist Church.

Sixty years later, the Advance still offers hope

The Advance for Christ and His Church serves people in need through projects around the world. Read More

Theological education in Africa gets boost

Proposed $2 million boost will not be final until General Conference approves the churchwide budget. Read More

The Hope for Africa Children's Choir sings during the 2008 United Methodist General Conference in Fort Worth, Texas. Many of its 23 members are orphans who have lost their families to civil war violence or AIDS.

Uganda children’s choir awes General Conference

Young singers find answered prayer, love and peace during General Conference visit. Read More

University Senate members, trustees elected

Four people are elected to the University Senate and eight others to the board of historic John Street Church. Read More

Erin Hawkins, top executive of the United Methodist Commission on Religion and Race, commemorates the 40th anniversary of the dissolution of the Central Jurisdiction during the denomination's 2008 General Conference in Fort Worth, Texas.

Leaders remember Central Jurisdiction’s dissolution

Speakers celebrate progress and name challenges in 40th anniversary commemoration. Read More

The Rev. Dorothy Watson Tatem urges General Conference delegates to continue Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century.

Delegates extend plan to strengthen the black church

Twelve-year-old initiative will continue to be force for transformation. Read More

Carcaño speaks out for modern-day outcasts

United Methodist Bishop Minerva Carcaño says only Read More

Church task force to examine global warming

General Conference instructs a task force to look for ways to reduce the church's negative ecological impact. Read More

More than 35 tribes are represented by the 36 children, ranging from 2 to 17 years old, who make up the children's choir from the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference.

Oklahoma Indian Mission choir opens worship

Native American children learned new languages during rehearsals. Read More

The Revs. James Lawson (left) and Gil Caldwell answer questions during an April 27 panel discussion hosted by Soulforce, an interfaith gay rights network.

Black civil rights veterans advocate inclusion

James Lawson and Gil Caldwell say there are parallels between blacks' struggles in the 1960s and those of gays and lesbians today. Read More

Bishop Ernest Lyght (right) congratulates the new leadership team for the United Methodist Council of Bishops: (from left) Bishops Sharon Rader, Gregory Vaughn Palmer, Larry M. Goodpaster, Robert E. Hayes and Donald A. Ott.

Bishop Gregory Palmer receives leadership gavel

"I owe the church and the Lord of the church everything," says the new president of the Council of Bishops. Read More

Members of the New York Annual (regional) Conference pray together before the beginning of the April 27 session of the 2008 United Methodist General Conference.

Wrap-up: Black churches, Cote d’Ivoire, global warming on Sunday docket

Both umbrellas and points of order were raised during an April 27 session of General Conference. Read More

United Methodist Bishops Janice Riggle Huie and Benjamin Boni speak to reporters during a press conference at the 2008 United Methodist General Conference in Fort Worth, Texas.

United Methodists formally admit Côte d’Ivoire

The West African conference receives full rights and responsibilities and becomes the largest regional conference in the global church. Read More

Delegates seek General Conference ethics panel

A request for forming an ethics committee follows concerns about free cell phones given to some delegates. Read More

Members of a Ugandan children’s choir cheer during a fundraising basketball game. The children (from left) are Ronald Kabubi, 10; Tonny Kyembe, 8; and Winnifred Acibo, 11.

Church teams ‘hoop it up’ for Nothing But Nets

Two Texas conferences raise $300,000 for the church's anti-malaria campaign. Read More

The Strangely Warmed Players perform a satirical skit during morning worship at the 2008 United Methodist General Conference.

Wrap-up: Delegates renew baptism, celebrate rural churches

General Conference delegates also perfect legislation to be presented in plenary sessions. Read More

Sally Vonner speaks at a reception honoring the Shalom Zone initiative of the Theological School of Drew University. Vonner is the Shalom coordinator in the North Texas Annual Conference.

Shalom initiative returns to General Conference -where it all began

Leaders of the Communities of Shalom highlight the program's achievements since its birth in 1992. Read More

Bishop John Innis of Liberia reports on the Central Conference Pension Initiative to the 2008 United Methodist General Conference.

Pension Initiative needs millions for retired pastors

Response to pension initiative beginning to meet the need of retirees in central conferences. Read More

Kira Volkova helps give the first-ever Young People’s Address during the 2008 United Methodist General Conference.

Young Russian pastor shares courageous journey

Strong faith, compassion move Kira Volkova's ministry. Read More

Bishops Minerva Carcaño and Elias Galván sing prior to a discussion on the relationships between United Methodist churches in the United States and their counterparts in Latin America during the 2008 United Methodist General Conference in Fort Worth, Texas.

United Methodists look to Latin America

The delegates hear a call to more fully embrace their counterparts in Latin America and the Caribbean. Read More

Supporters of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender inclusion in The United Methodist Church pray as delegates to the denomination's 2008 General Conference walk to legislative committee rooms.

Rally urges inclusion regardless of sexual identity

Young speakers address a rally of more than 200 people supporting inclusion of gays and lesbians in the church. Read More

United Methodist Bishop William W. Hutchinson preaches during morning worship on April 26 at the 2008 United Methodist General Conference in Fort Worth, Texas.

Hutchinson says be moved by ‘water and the Spirit’

Claim the reibrith and power of baptism, urges Bishop William W. Hutchinson. Read More

The Rev. Fitzgerald Reist, secretary of the 2008 United Methodist General Conference, reads a Judicial Council ruling stating that efforts to mandate membership in various church bodies are unconstitutional.

Language on board membership is unconstitutional, Judicial Council says

Ruling applies to petitions that would mandate some types of board members and delegates. Read More

The Rev. James Heidinger, president and publisher of Good News, speaks with the Rev. Jerry Kulah, a Liberian delegate, during an April 25 Renewal and Reform Coalition breakfast briefing at the Fort Worth Hilton Hotel.

Doubts arise following gifts of cell phones

Gifts to 150 African and Filipino delegates raise questions for some delegates and church officials. Read More

Bishop Jane Middleton presides over a session of the 2008 United Methodist General Conference in Fort Worth, Texas.

Daily wrap-up: Church receives $5 million for global health work

Other highlights included a call to action by Mozambique Bishop Joao Somane Machado, a Judicial Council ruling and the introduction of delegates from affiliated churches. Read More

Bishop Thomas Bickerton challenges delegates to the 2008 United Methodist General Conference to donate money to the Nothing But Nets campaign against malaria.

$5 million grant boosts Global Health Initiative

The grant will help The United Methodist Church fight malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. Read More

Bishop João Somane Machado of Mozambique (left) preaches during morning worship on April 25 at the United Methodist General Conference in Fort Worth, Texas. Translating is Donald Reasoner of the church's Board of Global Ministries.

Bishop Machado: Deeds, not words, needed to make true disciples

True disciples will use deeds to transform the world. Read More

United Methodist Bishop Kenneth Carder helps load donated sweet potatoes for distribution to area missions serving the hungry in Fort Worth, Texas.

Potato drop yields 20 tons of food for area hungry

Sweet potatoes will feed people, such as the 13-year-old who ate grass, Read More

United Methodist agency leaders sing

Delegates react to day of messages, presentations

Messages of hope and action draw praise from people attending General Conference. Read More

Bishop Timothy W. Whitaker of the Florida Area addresses an immigrant rights rally outside the Fort Worth Convention Center, site of the 2008 United Methodist General Conference.

Church urges humane treatment of immigrants

About 300 United Methodists gather for a rally on immigrant and human rights in Fort Worth. Read More

Conflicting paragraphs should be reconciled, Judicial Council says

The paragraphs address how jurisdictions should be represented on church boards and agencies. Read More

United Methodist agency leaders celebrate following their April 24 address on the four new areas of focus for the denomination during the 2008 United Methodist General Conference in Fort Worth, Texas. Standing (from left) are the Rev. Jerome King Del Pino, the Rev. Karen Greenwaldt, Bishop Felton May and the Rev. Larry Hollon.

Church focuses on poverty, health, people, leaders

Church's general agencies organize their budgets and ministries to emphasize key priorities. Read More

Bishop Mary Ann Swenson reports on the work of the United Methodist Council on Finance and Administration to the 2008 General Conference.

Finance report emphasizes abundance over scarcity

The United Methodist Church needs to claim spiritual truth of abundant living in managing its finances. Read More

Lyn Powell, lay leader of the North Georgia Annual (regional) Conference, delivers the Laity Address April 24 to the 2008 United Methodist General Conference in Fort Worth, Texas.

Invitation, personal ministry make disciples, laity told

Lay people must get involved in winning people for Christ, Laity Address speaker says. Read More

Seven-year-old Katherine Commale and her mother, Lynda, wave to delegates at the 2008 United Methodist General Conference after giving Bishop John Hopkins a Nothing But Nets T-shirt.

‘Join us in choosing hope,’ church leaders urge

Seven-year-old Katherine Commale provides life-saving bed nets for African children -- and life-giving hope for United Methodist adults. Read More

Delegate Andreas Elfving of the Finland-Swedish Provisional Conference speaks in a session of the legislative committee on church and society during the 2004 United Methodist General Conference in Pittsburgh.

General Conference 101: All you ever wanted to know

A guide for the 2008 meeting where United Methodists will set direction for the church for 2009-12. Read More

Noticias en español

General Conference 2004 United Methodist News Service stories related to Hispanic concerns. Read More

General Conference 2004:  Native American News

General Conference 2004 United Methodist News Service stories related to Native American concerns. Read More

General Conference 2004: African-American News

General Conference 2004 United Methodist News Service stories related to African-American concerns. Read More